Grandma reaches for an afghan, which she likely painstakingly crocheted. Your husband might ask you to toss him a couple of blankets while he’s watching the game. And your mom suggests that a wrap will keep you warm in front of the TV.
Design pros these days have dubbed them “throws,” but fabric by any other name still feels as soft and sweet.
Those pros will guarantee that any worthy throw will offer two perks: It will warm up your chilly hands and feet in the cold winter months, and it will add a bit of style to your home.
Interior designer Becky Mosby says throws are an inexpensive way to update a room and help transition a space from one season to the next.
“If you have a large sofa, a throw will make the room look more welcoming and warmer,” says the owner of Edgevale Interiors in Overland Park, Kan. (edgevaleinteriors.com). “I have them all over my living room because I always use them. They’re adult security blankets.”
In fact, they were often your very first symbol of security, says Jill Tran, with Tran + Thomas Design Studio (tranthomasdesign.com).
“Your first throw is your baby blanket, and is symbolic of love, warmth and comfort,” says Tran, who has studios in Shawnee, Kan., and Asheville, N.C. “It’s great if they remind you of something you love — a favorite place or vacation.”
And they make ideal gifts, she says. Look for blankets in rich hues, or with patterns. Tran’s partner, Carmen Thomas, adds that they make great accessories for the end of bed.
Softness is essential for the bedroom, or any place in the home where people like to snuggle up to read or watch TV, says Aimee Beatty. The in-house stylist with Pier 1 Imports says softness is high on the wish list when it comes to throws.
“Throws are great accessories to have in a living space because they add a soft element of style,” she says. “They are the icing on the cake — the one accessory that ties the look of the room together.”
Whether the look of your home is casual, modern or traditional, you can find the perfect throw to blend in with your style and color scheme, Beatty says.
“Given their versatility and wide range of options, throws are a beautiful complement to coordinating pillows, rugs and wall art,” Beatty says.
And if you’re running out of chairs or sofas to toss them on, open your mind to other options, she says. “Not only can they be draped at the end of a sofa or chair, they also look great simply folded and placed on an ottoman, or added to a beautiful basket in the living area.”
KNIT YOUR OWN THROW
If you’ve hunted everywhere for a throw a particular shade of blue or green and you’re striking out, take the advice of savvy group of do-it-yourselfers and make your own. That’s a sure-fire way to find the perfect color and texture.
Joan Daniels, president of the Sunflower Knitters’ Guild of Kansas City, says knitting a throw is a perfect project for a novice just learning the art of knitting or crocheting, though advanced crafters will enjoy more intricate patterns when creating blankets.
“They can be made with simple or ornate stitches and in a myriad of colors,” she says. “If you want your throw to be used on a chilly evening, make it out of a soft wool or alpaca blend.”
Daniels recently knitted a “prayer shawl” for her cousin, who was taking care of her ill husband.
Those who knit and crochet often enjoy being surrounded by friends as they work, and Daniels points to several groups who gather at coffee shops, libraries and craft shops to learn from each other. Groups like the Prayer Shawl Ministry (shawlministry.com), along with other organizations, knit throws and shawls for hospice patients and others in need of comfort.
Here’s a look at a few of the softest offerings out there. (A hint for bargain hunters: We found some of these, which are listed at full price, for as much as half off.)
• Fuzzy Throw Chocolate ($44.95, pier1.com). This luxurious throw won’t shed, and it’s as soft as a bunny.
• Charter Club Sculpted Faux Fur Throw, ($100, macys.com). Layer it on your bed, or cuddle up with it on the couch.
• Thro Paco Microplush Throw ($79.99, kohls.com). For the home with Spanish accents, this Ikat print blanket is a natural for the living room.
• “Lattice” Throw ($58, nordstrom.com). Reverse the throw to move from a modern lattice look to a smooth finish.
• Ombre Dyed Throw in Twilight Blue ($49.95, pier1.com). It’s one of the hottest shades out there right now, so why not toss a bit of blue into your room.
• Fuzzy Throw Zebra ($44.95, pier1.com). Animal prints are all over the fashion runways, and a little of that animal magnetism is making its way into our homes.
• LC Lauren Conrad Ruffle Knit Throw ($49.99, kohls.com ). With colors like “cream,” “blush” and “iris,” this throw clearly will add a feminine touch to a room.
• Charter Club Carved Snow Trees Throw ($140, macys.com). Imagine how pretty this soft, faux-fur texture throw will look in your home during the holidays and winter months.
• Kennebunk “Bliss” Plush Throw ($38, nordstrom.com). This cuddly throw, available in an array of bold and muted shades, is machine washable.
• Hotel Collection Pleated Throw ($160, macys.com). This throw, available in pomegranate and white, features fringed edges. Best of all, it’s machine washable.
• Home Classics Football Fleece Throw ($13.99, kohls.com). We thought we’d toss this one in the mix to show that there’s a perfect way to keep that football fan happy during the Thanksgiving Day games.
• Shaggy Plush Throw ($68, nordstrom.com). This thick, soft throw will keep you warm on the coldest of nights.
• Sonoma Life + Style Chenille Striped Throw ($79.99, kohls.com). It’s machine washable and irresistibly soft. What more could you ask for?